Thaw Causing Slush, Ice and Melt to Hit Iceland Skip to content

Thaw Causing Slush, Ice and Melt to Hit Iceland

The main highways leading out of Reykjavík to the south, Hellisheiði, Þrengsli and Reykjanesbraut, which were closed due to a blizzard yesterday, were reopened this morning, only for Hellisheiði to close again shortly before 10 am, visir.is reports.

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Archive photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The conditions on the other roads aren’t optimal either, with ice, snowfall and snow cover. Many other roads in the region, and in other regions across Iceland, remain closed, ruv.is reported at 9 am this morning.

A number of drivers ignored the road closure on Hellisheiði yesterday and ended up being stuck on the mountain pass, mbl.is reports.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office is assuming rising temperatures of up to 11°C (52°F) in the Westman Islands, coupled with stormy conditions, and rain in the southwestern region today and in the coming days, mbl.is added.

Given the amount of snow that has fallen in the past days, the thaw creates a risk of leakage and slippery conditions, ruv.is warns.

The Reykjavík Metropolitan Fire Department asks people to clear the snow away from drains and balconies to diminish the risk of damages, and reduce the risk of accident by shoveling their drive and walkways.

Capital residents are unused to such excessive snowfall as it hasn’t occurred in decades. One man reported to the police that his car had been stolen but later canceled his visit to the police station, explaining that he had found his car inside a snowdrift, visir.is reports.

In Ólafsfjörður and Siglufjörður in the north, locals haven’t seen as much snow in ten years; in Ólafsfjörður the snow cover measured 80 centimeters, as stated on ruv.is.

For almost 24 hours, the inhabitants of the two towns were unable to leave the area by land due to avalanche risk on the roads leading out of Tröllaskagi peninsula.

While many Icelandic residents are annoyed, tourists seem to enjoy all the snow; a group of Japanese travelers who were stuck in a bus by the smelter in Straumsvík, Hafnarfjörður, yesterday were cheerful in spite of the situation.

The guide told mbl.is that “this is just a good ending of a good trip.” The group was waiting to continue their drive to Keflavík International Airport as soon as the conditions allowed for it (click here to watch a video from the bus).

Commuters are asked to pay close attention to weather forecasts and warnings on vedur.is and road conditions on vegagerdin.is.

Click here to read more about the trouble caused by the snowstorm yesterday.

ESA

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